San Francisco Riptide Lacrosse Club is a non profit youth lacrosse organization serving boys and girls ages 6-14 in the greater San Francisco area.


How should my child dress for lacrosse practice?

Basic athletic wear is all that is required:  A T-shirt, shorts, and cleats.  Dress as you might for a soccer practice guards minus the shin guards.   We also highly recommend layers for the early season.  Long sleeve “underarmor” style shirts are great and sweatshirts can help.  On wet days we highly recommend non-cotton socks.


What equipment does my child need?

Boys need a lacrosse stick, helmet, shoulder pads, gloves, arm pads plus a mouthguard, cleats and athletic supporter.

Girls need a lacrosse stick, lacrosse goggles and mouthgard


Where can I purchase equipment?

Lacrosse equipment can be purchased at several local outlets including SlingIt Lacrosse in San Rafael and Sports Basement.  Slingit often stocks starter kits and they are lacrosse specialists who can provide good advice on choices.

Good online stores include and and Craigslist is also a great place to look for used items.


What sticks do you recommend for boys?

Our coaches highly recommend StringKing sticks for new and returning players.  Most store-bought sticks require lots of adjustment and breaking in  to get them in ideal condition.  String King hand strings their stick so that the pocket is immediately ready for play.   String King has a few models but we recommend the COMPLETE and COMPLETE Jr.    


The "COMPLETE Jr":  sized for a young player, this stick will work through u10. If you are a u8 or 1st year u10  player this is a good choice. If you will be turning 10  in the next year or you are an older player, you should look at a full size "COMPLETE"  model .  


String King has set up a special "Team Store" for our Riptide program and if you purchase through that store you automatically will receive a 10% discount.   You can request a login by emailing  Make sure you sign into our store before purchasing to get the discount.


Important note: avoid “soft mesh”  sticks:  you will see beginner sticks offered with different types of mesh - you should always select "hard mesh" and avoid "soft mesh" (Soft may help marginally with catching but can be terrible for throwing).


What stick do you recommend for girls?

There are many good choices from leading lacrosse brands for beginner and intermediate player available at the retail outlets above, but we have recently tested Mesh pockets from String King that we really like.


Mesh pockets are brand new to girls lacrosse 2018 and we love the new Mesh From String King. Our Recommendation for all new players is to purchase the STRING KING COMPLETE W with a Mid POCKET (more advanced players should opt for the high pocket). You can also order the MESH KIT from String King and use it to string sticks from other manufacturers ( SlingIt Lacrosse in San Rafael will do restringing)


We like the STRING KING COMPLETE for advanced players too, but advanced players can also explore a custom “Ladder Pocket” from Stylin Strings. You can order a color customized kit here and you can take the kit to SlingIt lacrosse to have your stick strung for a very reasonable fee (+/-$35). This style of the pocket is the used by many college players and offers superior pocket depth, and control.



Other Boys Recommendations

Helmets – There are several manufactures, including Cascade, Warrior, and Brine.  It is important to choose the correct size of the helmet.  It should fit firmly on the head and the 4 point chin strap should be adjusted evenly and the chin pad should be firm against the chin providing additional support.   After the chin straps are adjusted and buckled, there should be minimal movement of the helmet when the player shakes his head from side to side.  Try to get it correct before you leave because many places will charge a restocking fee for returned helmets.  We would like our players to buy all White helmets so we can add our team decals.  Helmets start at about $100 and can range up to $250.

Stick Recommendations – There is a huge selection of sticks and shafts on the market and our youth players are required to use sticks that meet  NFHS specifications.   The heads cost anywhere from $50-$115 for a “strung” head and another $20-$90 for a shaft.   Most of the sticks on the market are for high school players so we would like to offer our recommendations for the Riptide organization, especially U11 and U13.  There are also “mini” sticks on the market that are not for official play.

Heads – For younger players, we would like to see them use sticks with wider heads / throats that will enable them to catch the ball easier.   This is easier to see when you are at a store and can compare the various styles.   The Throat should be at least 3” wide and the Scope 6.5”.

Stringing – We would like all of our players to use “Hard” mesh throughout the entire head without any additional special stringing style.  Mesh is basically small diamonds with no vertical leather in the stringing.   There are two types of mesh, soft and hard.   Soft is just as it means, it is very loose and flexible.  Hard mesh, sometimes called durable, is much more firm and takes a little more time to break in.   It will form a better pocket after several weeks of use, tends to throw better and is low maintenance.

Shafts – There is an array of shafts on the market.  It is usually easiest to buy the same shaft as the manufacturer of the head.   Any type of alloy shaft will suffice and titanium shafts for youth lacrosse are overkill.